F-M task force to study school safety, security

— A task force of Fayetteville-Manlius students, parents, teachers and others will study and discuss school safety and security, said F-M Superintendent Corliss Kaiser at the Monday, Oct. 24, school board meeting.

The panel will weigh the suggestion that the district build upon safety and security enhancements of recent years with the addition of a school resource officer, among other considerations.

“We have been making great strides in building a safe and caring school community for our students and staff, and it is important for our community to be able to voice opinions regarding the enhancement of safety and security measures in our schools,” Kaiser said. “There are a number of options for us to consider.”

Five years ago, the administration and Board reviewed safety and security efforts within the district. Since then, the district has installed cameras at each school building, and all school building doors are locked so school officials can screen who enters the buildings. At the high school, seven supervision aides monitor student behavior in addition to teachers who are stationed in the hallways during class.

The district is also implementing sensitivity training for students and teachers to be in compliance with the Dignity for All Students Act, a new state regulation that goes into effect July 1, 2012 and is intended to give students in public schools an educational environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Some community members have asked that the addition of a school resource officer also be considered. The board asked Kaiser to research the issue in September.

School officials recently met with members of the Manlius Police Department to discuss the district’s efforts at preventing and responding to serious disciplinary issues. Police officers said that hiring an SRO would allow students to develop a relationship with an SRO that may prevent some ongoing issues with drugs, alcohol, and bullying, including cyber bullying.

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